Karel Geraerts: It’s important that we stick together

FC Schalke 04 will be aiming to get off to a better start in Friday’s home game against VfL Osnabrück (18:30 CET) as they have done in their last couple of games. “It’s all about how you approach matches like these,” emphasised Karel Geraerts before the clash at the VELTINS-Arena.

The Royal Blues lacked intensity at the beginning of their 5-3 defeat against Düsseldorf, as they conceded three times in the first 30 minutes of the game. Geraerts explained how the coaching staff and the players analysed the Fortuna game in detail over the course of the week: “On Monday, we had a productive, intense discussion about the game. We spoke about what was on our minds, what was going well and what we could improve. Then, we analysed it with videos on Tuesday. I said a lot to the players and vice-versa. It was an important thing to do and it’ll help us,” said the Belgian.

Schalke’s head coach went on to say that the disappointment amongst the players at the beginning of the week quickly transformed into a desire to improve. “The training sessions went exactly as I want them to go,” said Geraerts. He noted that the team is aware of how important Friday’s game is. Geraerts also stressed that it was important that “we all stick together as a club, not just the players and the staff.”

New head coach in Osnabrück

The Royal Blues head coach noted that the preparation for the game has been a little bit more challenging due to the fact that Friday’s opponents are travelling to Gelsenkirchen with a new head coach, Uwe Koschinat, as Osnabrück won’t be familiar with Koschinat’s style of play yet. Geraerts emphasised that the Schalke players should prioritise their own game and didn’t rule out making changes to the squad or the formation.

Blendi is the type of player I like to see as a coach. He likes to have the ball, is quick, turns well and can give the team something special.

Karel Geraerts

Dominick Drexler and Yusuf Kabadayi are unavailable due to injury, whilst U23s players Jimmy Kaparos and Steven van der Sloot have been training with the first team in place of them this week. “They’ve shown that they deserve to take part in the sessions,” Geraerts said. It will only be decided whether Kaparos and/or van der Sloot will be part of the matchday squad following the final training session. Additionally, Cedric Brunner, who has been fully involved in training again since Monday, is on the verge of making his return to the 20-man matchday squad.

According to Geraerts, Blendi Idrizi, who came on as a substitute after 33 minutes in Düsseldorf and gave the Royal Blues’ attacking play some fresh impetus, is a candidate for the starting eleven. “Blendi is the type of player I like to see as a coach. He likes to have the ball, is quick, turns well and can give the team something special,” Geraerts said. “He has shown that he’s a talented player.”

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